HKMA turns up the heat and announces consultation on IBOR transition

On 12 February 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced in a briefing to the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs that the Treasury Markets Association (TMA) will hold a long-awaited consultation this quarter on alternative reference rates.

The announcement follows signals from regulators globally that firms should transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other IBORs to alternative, risk-free, reference rates.

While there is no immediate plan to discontinue the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (HIBOR), the HKMA noted that “as a FSB member, [the HKMA] has an obligation to put in place an alternative reference rate as a contingent fall-back”, tentatively suggesting the HKD Overnight Index Average (HONIA) as the most suitable alternative. Click here to read more.

UK: A record sentence for the SFO?

On 3 August, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) secured a conviction on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud against a former trader.  He was sentenced to 9.5 years imprisonment in respect of the first four counts, each to run concurrently, and 4.5 years imprisonment for the next four, each to run concurrently to each other, but consecutively with the first four – a total of 14 years imprisonment.  Confiscation proceedings will be determined at a later date. Continue reading

UK: Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in two misselling claims

We have previously reported on the progress of two pending cases in the High Court (Graiseley Properties v Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank v Unitech Global) that have been widely viewed as test cases on the potential for private claims by customers who entered into LIBOR referenced products with LIBOR panel banks.  The Supreme Court has now refused permission to appeal from two recent Court of Appeal judgments involving high-profile misselling claims against banks. Continue reading

UK: Private LIBOR claims – an uphill battle for claimants

The ongoing regulatory investigations into the manipulation of LIBOR have prompted much speculation about the possibility of claimants bringing private law actions against banks based on the regulators’ findings.  In the first cases to come before the UK courts, the Court of Appeal has recently granted permission to appeal two High Court decisions as to whether LIBOR-based claims could be introduced into existing actions alleging mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. Continue reading

UK Court of Appeal to consider potential LIBOR claims – Graiseley test case delayed

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal against the decision of the High Court, in Graiseley Properties Ltd & others v Barclays Bank plc & others [2012] EWHC 3093, to allow the case to proceed to trial as a test case for claimants seeking to bring private actions ‘piggybacking’ off regulatory findings concerning the manipulation of LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate). Continue reading

UK: FCA regulation and supervision of financial benchmarks

On 25 March 2013, the FSA published its Policy Statement (PS13/6) finalising the new rules and regulations for financial benchmarks, following on from the recommendations of the Wheatley Review of LIBOR, and building on the provisions in the Financial Services Act 2012 which enable the regulation of activities in relation to benchmarks.  The rules come into force on 2 April 2013. Continue reading